Seasonal allergies (also known as allergic rhinitis) have been on the uprise over the past several years. According to Statistics Canada, over 40% of Canadians report having allergies to pollen and grass.
Allergic rhinitis happens when your body elicits a heightened immune response to things like pollen and grass, that normally should not generate this sort of reaction. The overstimulation of the immune system results in inflammation, which presents itself clinically as sneezing, itching, runny nose and nasal blockage.
When it comes to management of seasonal allergies, it is important to take a comprehensive holistic approach in order to have long-standing effects. Naturopathic doctors may utilize clinical nutrition, lifestyle medicine, natural health products (supplements), acupuncture, and botanical medicine to do so. The treatment plan is individualized, as each person’s body is very unique.
An important thing to consider when treating allergic rhinitis is the gut. The gut microbiome plays such a vital role in the immune system – some studies even suggest that 70% to 80% of immune cells are present in the gut.
Naturopathic doctors can perform various functional medicine tests to explore and investigate what your gut microbiome looks like. These tests can check for any imbalances (such as too much ‘bad’ bacteria and/or not enough ‘good’ bacteria) as well as any foods that you may be sensitive to that can contribute to other symptoms you may experience during allergy season.
If you have any more questions about seasonal allergies or anything health-related, feel free to get in touch with Dr. Jennifer Tang and book a free discovery call to discuss options for your treatment to help ward off allergies this season.